The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up... I've been reading this, and at first it seemed a little hokey. Like it was too simple. But the more I read, and the more I thought about the stuff in my closet(s), the more it resonated, and it really sunk in. The three questions you need to ask yourself when de-cluttering: Does this spark joy? Is it useful? Has it served its purpose? A lot of things are useful (i.e. my Aeropostle shorts I haven't worn since 2011). Joy is sparked by good memories I had while wearing those shorts. But have they served their purpose? Absolutely. I haven't worn them in almost 5 years. They're kinda big and kinda too short and that's why I haven't worn them and I don't plan on wearing them in the future but I've been hoarding them away because I remember the good times of 2009-2011 when I see them. But I have pictures of me wearing the shorts. I don't need to have them hoarded in the back of a spare closet in a Rubbermaid tub.
There's so much I can get rid of simply because it's heavy. Metaphorically, knowing I have bins and closets full of things I'm desperately clinging to makes me feel heavy. In a literal sense, every time we pack up a house or reorganize things, I'm reminded of how much I have that is pulling me backward. I don't need the iPhone box from 2013. I don't need old prescription bottles. I don't need the purses I will never use again.
Some other tidbits from the book that I enjoyed:
+Everything must have a place. YOU will feel better when everything has a place. Part of the reason why moving and remodeling is so stressful is because not everything has a place. By getting rid of things we/I don't use/need, everything can have a place because it's not as cluttered.
+You can't live in the past. So if you're hanging onto items simply because they remind you of other times, it might be time to let them go. I became very selective in what I kept. My biggest issue is hanging onto clothes from the past. I don't wear them anymore (see shorts example above), but I store them away to keep.
+You have to handle each item in order to decide if you want it. This means you need to really be in the mood for de-cluttering. Last summer, I split my wardrobe in half by taking a day to try on everything I owned and paring it down to what I actually wore and what actually looked good. It was worth it.
+Holding onto things you might need someday can turn into a waste of time, effort, and space. I've spent more time in the past shuffling my storage around than I have using the stuff I had stored away.
There are some exceptions that I made to the author's advice:
+I save my old planners. In some box, in some shed, I have my planners from college. In the closet, in our "paperwork" box, I have my planners from 2012 through 2015. I enjoy the nostalgia they provide me.
+Also, while I do take things I need out of my bags at the end of the day, I don't unpack my purse or tote bag. They have a hook by the door...if I started taking things out, I would forget those things in the morning.
I thought I was going to read this book and just sort of absorb the advice and maybe apply pieces of it at some point. However, I started tidying right away, one box at a time. I'm not done, of course, and I don't have the means or the time to do it all at once like Marie Kondo implores you to do (i.e. Scott is not always on board with my need to de-clutter). But I've made a lot of progress. The biggest step was not getting rid of things, but changing my thinking from This is mine. I need it. to Did it serve its purpose? Can someone else use it now?